TCR Midlands 2022: Achieving net-zero rail

Rail stands proud as one of the greenest modes of transport already, but that doesn’t mean there is not a plethora of further improvements which can be made across the industry to further decarbonise and deliver a sustainable railway.

At the Vox Conference Centre in Birmingham, TCR Midlands 2022 brought together many of rail’s key decision makers and leaders from the Midlands region to discuss and learn from one another through insightful speeches and panel debates.

Joining host Helen Fospero on stage for the first of those panels were:

  • Rob Davies, Global Rolling Stock Director, Arup
  • Nicola Uijen, HSE Director, North West and Central Region, Network Rail
  • Lorna McDonald, Head of Customer Sales, Hitachi Rail
  • George Davies, Director of Sustainability, RSSB

Sustainability dominated the agenda of discussion, and in particular many of the lessons which had been able to be drawn from the recent COP26 global climate change conference in Glasgow.

Seen by many as an opportunity for the UK to showcase its successes and spearhead future progress, the rail industry has been seen as a core part of that journey – and it was important to the panellists that one of the forms of transport already with significant green credentials wasn’t overlooked for further development or investment.

RSSB’s George Davies said: “We have to make sure rail isn’t left behind.

“There are a number of competing technologies [to make rail greener] – we need to have a collective national view.”

Nicola Uijen agreed: “We’ve learned a lot as a business from COP26.”

In particular, there was focus on how rail freight can be improved to help meet rail’s net-zero ambitions, with the idea of rail freight hubs being one which George was keen to see.

The full TCR Midlands 2022 panel can be viewed above. For more information on attending one of our TransCityRail events, click here.

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